Can Las Vegas handle yet another stadium? And for soccer?
The City of Las Vegas thinks so and is pushing for the construction of a soccer stadium where Cashman Field currently stands.
But Vegas Golden Knights owner, Bill Foley, wants soccer to go into the Raiders stadium.
First, would Las Vegas support an MLS team?
“It depends on who you talk to. If you talk to the soccer die-hards, they’ll tell you, ‘Of course, a Major League Soccer will work here in Las Vegas,” said Mitch Moss, who covers sports and betting for V-SIN, the Vegas Stats and Information Network, “If you talk to some of the experts who have covered soccer for a long, long time in bigger metropolitan areas, they have their question marks about Las Vegas fully supporting a team at that level.”
As for Moss, he tends to lean toward the experts on that question, but he does point out that soccer teams in Atlanta and Seattle do very well.
Soccer does very well with younger sports fans and the Hispanic community, Moss said.
“It is big and it is growing,” he said of professional soccer.
The city's plan is to create a soccer stadium where the Las Vegas Lights FC currently play and where the Aviators used to play.
“I would still question whether or not that location long term would be the best fit for a soccer team,” he said.
The Aviators were the 51s when they played at Cashman Field and they drew very small crowds. Now that the team has moved to the new ballpark in Downtown Summerlin, they're getting as many people as the Tampa Bay Rays, a Major League Baseball team, Moss said.
While he doesn't love the idea of a new soccer stadium downtown, Moss isn't sure the Raider's stadium will work either because he's not sure the team would draw a crowd big enough to fill it.
With that said, he trusts that Foley, who brought the Knights to Southern Nevada when everyone was skeptical about hockey in Las Vegas, knows what he's doing.
"The Raiders were able to move here because Bill Foley was the trailblazer," he said.
Another factor to consider is the money to pay for a new stadium. The plan to build a soccer stadium downtown fell apart a few years ago because public money was involved.
"If you come to me and say, 'we're going to need more public money,' on top of the city already giving the Raiders as much as they did, I would say, 'forget about it! And don't even consider that idea," he said.
Mitch Moss, host, "Follow The Money," Vegas Stats and Information Network
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